Health News Roundup: New Zealand’s daily COVID-19 cases fall, some classrooms to reopen; Exclusive- WHO-led programme aims to buy antiviral COVID-19 pills for $10 -document and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

New Zealand’s daily COVID-19 cases fall, some classrooms to reopen

Daily COVID-19 cases in New Zealand fell on Wednesday after a record jump the day before, with most infections still in Auckland as the Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to affect the country’s biggest city. Authorities reported 60 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, of which 56 were in Auckland, taking the total number of cases in the current outbreak to 2,158. There have been 28 deaths in total since the pandemic began and 43 people are currently hospitalized because of the virus.

Exclusive- WHO-led programme aims to buy antiviral COVID-19 pills for $10 -document

A World Health Organization-led programme to ensure poorer countries get fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments aims to secure antiviral drugs for patients with mild symptoms for as little as $10 per course, a draft document seen by Reuters says. Merck & Co’s experimental pill molnupiravir is likely to be one of the drugs, and other drugs to treat mild patients are being developed.

Tokyo aims to lift COVID-19 curbs on restaurants as cases fall – media

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is aiming to ease COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants next week as infections continue to decline, the Jiji news service said on Wednesday. The easing will be announced as early as Thursday and would apply to businesses that are certified as following anti-infection measures, Jiji reported, citing informed sources.

U.S. surgeons successfully test pig kidney transplant in human patient

For the first time, a pig kidney has been transplanted into a human without triggering immediate rejection by the recipient’s immune system, a potentially major advance that could eventually help alleviate a dire shortage of human organs for transplant. The procedure done at NYU Langone Health in New York City involved the use of a pig whose genes had been altered so that its tissues no longer contained a molecule known to trigger almost immediate rejection.

France’s COVID-19 hospitalisations up for the third day in a row

The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in France went up for the third day in a row on Tuesday, a trend not seen for almost two months, according to French health authorities. The number of hospitalizations rose by 15 people over 24 hours to 6,483. That is five times lower than the pandemic peak of 33,497 reported in November 2020.

U.S. FDA to recommend Pfizer, Moderna boosters for people 40 and older -CNN

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon recommend that persons 40 and older receive Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 booster shots, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine highly protective in 12-18 age group – U.S. CDC study

The Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE COVID-19 vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations among those aged 12 to 18, according to an analysis released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday. The study was conducted between June and September when the extremely contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus was predominant.

Melbourne welcomes vaccinated Sydney residents without quarantine

Travel restrictions between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s largest cities, eased on Wednesday as Victoria opened its borders to fully vaccinated residents from New South Wales amid a rapid rise in immunization levels. With cases trending lower in New South Wales, including Sydney, residents will be allowed quarantine-free entry into Victoria for the first time in more than three months. Travelers from Melbourne who wish to enter Sydney, however, must undergo a two-week home quarantine.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro should face homicide charge for COVID-19 errors, says Senate report

The senator leading a congressional probe into Brazil’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with homicide for alleged government errors that led to the deaths of thousands. Bolsonaro has dismissed the probe as politically motivated. It is highly unlikely that he will face trial on any such charges, which would have to be brought by Brazil’s prosecutor general whom Bolsonaro appointed.

U.S. Supreme Court justice rejects challenge to Maine COVID-19 vaccine mandate

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Tuesday turned away a religious challenge to a requirement that healthcare workers in Maine be vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest such bid rejected by the nation’s top judicial body. In a brief order, Breyer wrote that the challengers – unnamed plaintiffs who said they are healthcare workers and object to taking the vaccine on religious grounds – could make another request for a mandate exemption once the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on their case.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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